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Ex-sheriff's sergeant admits taking drugs from evidence locker

Published: Monday, Oct. 7 2013 4:10 p.m. MDT

Former Carbon County Sheriff's Sgt. Christopher Howard Basso is charged in 7th District Court with possession of a controlled substance, burglary and tampering with evidence. Basso, 37, is accused of burglarizing the evidence locker at the sheriff's office to steal drugs. (Carbon County Sheriff's Office) Former Carbon County Sheriff's Sgt. Christopher Howard Basso is charged in 7th District Court with possession of a controlled substance, burglary and tampering with evidence. Basso, 37, is accused of burglarizing the evidence locker at the sheriff's office to steal drugs. (Carbon County Sheriff's Office)

PRICE — A former Carbon County sheriff's sergeant pleaded guilty Monday to taking drugs from the evidence locker at the sheriff's office without authorization.

In a deal with prosecutors, Christopher Howard Basso pleaded guilty in 7th District Court to possession of a controlled substance, a third-degree felony; tampering with evidence and possession of a controlled substance, class A misdemeanors; and trespassing, a class B misdemeanor, according to defense attorney Greg Law.

A 13-year veteran of the sheriff's office, Basso was originally charged in March with two counts of possession of a controlled substance, a second-degree felony; burglary, a third-degree felony; and tampering with evidence, a class A misdemeanor.

Basso, 37, was placed on administrative leave in January after failing two drug tests, according to the Utah Peace Officer Standards and Training Council.

Deputies suspected Basso was entering the sheriff's office without authorization while he was on leave. A hidden camera was set up and caught him coming into the building "at odd hours of the evening" and accessing the evidence locker, Carbon County Attorney Gene Strate said.

In court Monday, Basso admitted that he took a prescription painkiller from the evidence locker, as well as some methamphetamine or "an analog" used in the training of police dogs, Law said.

The prescription medication was evidence in an active case that has since been resolved, Law added.

Basso was fired from the sheriff's office Feb. 5. The POST Council voted last month to revoke his law enforcement certification, barring him from serving as a peace officer in Utah for life.

Basso is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 2.

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